[Staff Suggestion] Steam chat bot to alert staff of server levels.

Discussion in 'TTT Suggestions' started by Zikeji, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. Zikeji

    Zikeji Repoleved VIP Emerald

    So in the shoutbox we came up with an idea after @Orion mentioned a staff member switching servers.

    So the idea is, there's a Steam chat bot that's friends with all the staff. The bot will check the servers occasionally (every 5 minutes?) to see if there are any staff online. If there isn't, and the server is active (it'll check the score of players, if everyone is at 0 either map just changed or everyone is AFK), it'll alert online staff that it needs staffing.

    It'll alert staff intelligently. Only if they're marked as "Online", any other Steam status and it'll ignore them. It'll also check levels on each server and only alert available staff. For example, if West has 2 staff and East 2 has 1, it won't alert the guy on East 2 but it'll alert both guys on West. It'll also alert online staff that aren't in game, as long as their status is "online".

    It'll alert occasionally, say in 15 minute intervals if it already sent you the message. If one of the alert recipients decides to go, they can type !hopping and it'll alert the other staff already alerted that someone is joining. Once the server is staffed, it'll alert anyone previously alerted that the server is now happily staffed.

    It's still very much a concept, I want to hear opinions - definitely from staff. The project, to the level I described is definitely possibly and I don't think would take to long.
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  2. +1, we discussed this in shoutbox and it seems it would be great.
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  3. tz-

    tz- feelin it VIP Emerald

    Seems too complex, I thought it would be "(Insert Name Here) has joined (Insert Server Here)", and "(Insert Name Here) and left (Insert Server Here)"
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
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  4. Smithk47

    Smithk47 I stalk ANGLEX VIP

    +1 for me sounds awesome
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  5. DocFox

    DocFox The Best Is Yet To Come VIP Silver Emerald

    Hmmm. I feel like this could eventually encourage gaming staff to remain offline when playing other games.
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  6. DocFox

    DocFox The Best Is Yet To Come VIP Silver Emerald

    They have lives and sometimes want to play other games. If staff are being notified that a server is unstaffed when they didn't say they would staff, it would be intrusive and annoying.
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  7. Rice

    Rice stay golden. VIP

    I think this kind of project works great in theory, but not so much practically in terms of annoyance. As you may know, some staff cover multiple servers when staff levels are low, and as such you will constantly get old information from when they have hopped between servers. If this is to be implemented it will have to be a fine balancing act of new and up-to-date information, and annoying staff members that are "online".

    This is just my opinion, but I do support this kind of thing on a basic level.
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  8. Slap

    Slap Dont steal my cheerios VIP

    -rep bad trader
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  9. ink

    ink Genuine Happiness VIP Silver

    Personally, I leave my steam online when I am working, just so I am able to let my friends irl know that I am available to contact if urgent. However, that doesn't mean that I am available to staff a server. If staff members have time to staff servers, they will. If they do not, they won't. I believe steam is kinda outside of just g-mod; if they have time, they will hop on. A chat box that warns them when they are outside of g-mod would just be annoying.

    Don't get me wrong, if we have to settle this concept no matter what, I believe that staff currently in-game, playing g-mod be notified that another server is staffless. Then, they would be able to prioritize as humans and actually make use of a chat bot. There's no point in making a bot that messages players when they are online. Online =/= available, it's like a skype thing. "available" doesn't mean they will accept your call, if they are able to call, they will. We shouldn't be too pushy about these kinds of things. Staff members have lives as well.
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  10. Smash

    Smash Baka VIP Silver

    I like the idea in theory, it sounded a tad different in shoutbox. I agree with Shady, if you could make it only notify people in Gmod then it would be great. Alternatively, have a STTT staff group on steam that the bot sits in the group chat so people who want the notifications can simply join the chat group.
  11. Carned

    Carned ✘o ✘o VIP Silver Emerald

    If you make it, i won't add the bot, i don't want my steam chat spammed every 15 minutes just because i might be doing something else.

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  12. Whitewolfx0

    Whitewolfx0 Keep the shiny side up. VIP

    This. To be honest it would also be the quickest way to make me resign. Staff do this as volunteer work and with something pestering me every 15min it sounds more like a job than fun.

    EDIT: What I said made it sound like I only like staffing with others, this is wrong. I like staffing because staff make or break the server. When I staff I feel I am part of the servers history and always will be.
    With something pestering me on my days off after I am well above the hour requirements, would be a pain.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
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  13. Zikeji

    Zikeji Repoleved VIP Emerald

    Remember, this is still very much a concept. It's just an idea from the chat. We just need a better way to let staff know when they are needed elsewhere.

    Going on MangoTango, Whitewolfx0, and Carned's input - if we were to go the route in OP (remember, we're here to discuss possible concepts and implementation), it could be setup to not alert upon request.

    For example, you're online - the bot alerts you, you type !ignoreme, and it'll ignore you until you type !alertme. But these are still examples. If anyone has other ideas on how to keep staff up to date on server staff levels, post it here.
  14. Python~

    Python~ Young Bard VIP Silver Emerald


    How often would the bot message Online staff?
    Are there are examples of this bot being implemented in other servers?
    Does it currently exist? Where? Who would create it if not?
    Why would mods need a bot to tell them there are no staff on a server when the server list on the homepage of the forums tells them?


    Probably less spamming in shoutbox for a mod needed on a server
    Mods are more aware of what servers need staffing and when

    Staff can easily ignore the message, and might even get spammed by the bot
    Staff aren't dedicated to the server, it's on their own time.
    What Shady said: mods, while maybe 'Online', may not be able to staff a server
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  15. Zikeji

    Zikeji Repoleved VIP Emerald

    We're here to deliberate about this. Could be once an hour, 30 minutes, 15, etc. - the logic/plan, how it will function, etc. will need to be settled before I create it.

    I doubt it. Most other TTT servers only have one server to staff, thus don't need it. I also don't visit other servers, so I wouldn't know.

    No it does not exist. I would create it, I used to be a developer for STTT and have helped with some portions of the site, some in-game features (the DNA on the kill message was me, for example). I already know what I've mentioned is possible to implement and shouldn't take a wasteful amount of time.

    You answer this under your pros. To be more aware. Ever see when some servers have 3 staff and then others have none at all? This could help prevent that. They don't check the server list often enough. This type of thing tells them instead of relying on them to check.

    Yes they can ignore the message, and they're free to. If we design it to be more intelligent, they can tell it they're busy so they don't have to ignore it. And nobody would get spammed. One message every 15 minutes isn't spam in my opinion, but even then we can make it more dynamic to prevent spamming.

    Staff have hour requirements they have to fulfill. They have responsibilities and to an extent, are dedicated to a portion of time.

    This goes back to the first con, we're designing this now - we can design it in such a way where this isn't an issue.
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  16. DocFox

    DocFox The Best Is Yet To Come VIP Silver Emerald

    I just feel that maybe an in-game add-on that reminds staff at the start of each map would be more suitable. This way, if there are more than one staff on a server that leaves others unstaffed, it will remind them. Possibly make it so it only reminds of the number of staff on that server is two or more.

    If that's not available, just have staff remind each other via Steam or on TS when things like that happen. That's what I did when I was an admin and we had no problem with it.
  17. Zikeji

    Zikeji Repoleved VIP Emerald

    Notifying in-game was discussed a long time ago between Highwon and I. It's not a viable option. Our servers already lag enough, we don't want to add more scripts that could cause lag. Which is why we would have to use external means.
  18. DocFox

    DocFox The Best Is Yet To Come VIP Silver Emerald

    I don't think it should be a thing, unless it could only notify staff that are online, playing Gmod, and have chosen the option to receive notifications.
  19. Zikeji

    Zikeji Repoleved VIP Emerald

    I was thinking more online in general - but they could still opt out and opt in to notifications. That's my thought. In case you're on YT or something but want to be available if necessary.
  20. irritatingness

    irritatingness Advisor. VIP Silver Emerald

    I feel like just because people think this would be annoying they're stating that they don't like the idea. In other words, someone stated it'd be annoying and everyone wants to bandwaggon on that. Instead of saying it'd be annoying because you have lives and you might want to play a different game at that time, why not suggest something to fix that issue? The beautiful thing about programming / scripting is that you have the power to do just about anything the API will allow you and more (if you're not lazy, workarounds are very possible).

    For example:

    "I don't want to get annoyed by the bot because I'm playing other games." -- Bot could possibly detect if you're currently in a game and not message you.

    "I'm available, but I don't want to play gmod." -- Possible to create a bot mute command. Send a command such as "!mute <possible args for time>" and the bot will add you to a no-alert list as to not alert you unless it's un-muted or the time you inputed expires. This also applies to those who are staffing more than one server at times that staff is limited.

    "I'm busy, don't want the bot messaging me." -- Set your steam status to busy, problem solved. Or, again, mute feature is possible.

    That's just a few examples from what I've seen. If you can think of any other problems, please, suggest a workaround or a way to fix the issue. It does not require programming knowledge to suggest a fix, just a conceptual thought process. If the developer (I'm assuming Zikeji will be doing this) is up to it, they'll let you know. If not, by all means, feel free to opt out of the whole idea. Nobody said it was mandatory.

    Now that I've given my opinion and view on the matter, I'd really love to see what @Darktooth , @Slicck , and even @Highwon think. They may have already discussed the matter with Zikeji or elsewhere, but I'd appreciate if they publicized their opinions here.

    Disclaimer: Now, having said what I have, I don't mean to belittle anyone or their opinions, I just really feel as if this idea is a good one and that simply downplaying it because some people think it'd get annoying is a terrible move. I respect any opinions, and I'm not targeting anyone with my post.

    Edit: Grammar
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